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Problem Solving, whether in our personal or professional lives is never an easy process. With each problem we face comes a variety of emotions. Some good, some not so great, but regardless of the emotions, the problems will always be there until we face them head-on.  One of the more common and effective forms of problem solving is by using a step-by-step flow chart to help break down any problem into more manageable and less emotional steps.

Step 1: Define your problem

Knowing and defining the issue at hand is a great place to start because as you start to define what exactly the problem is, the solution arises fairly simply. This is not always the case, but starting with knowing your problem can save you a lot of time and unnecessary stress.

 

Step 2: Define your emotions

Oftentimes when these problems arise we get a mix of emotions that can cloud our judgement and lead us to come up with a solution that may not best answer the problem.  So once we have defined our problem, the next step should be making peace with the way you feel about the problem that has arisen. When we acknowledge these feelings and emotions, they become easier to manage and allow us to keep focused on the right solution rather than easiest

 

Step 3: There’s more than one way to skin a cat

Now that we have defined the problem and have acknowledged our emotions it’s time to start on the path toward solving it. Since there’s “more than one way to skin a cat” it’s best to come up with as many possible solutions/outcomes to the problem as you can. When you can find multiple ways in which you can solve a problem, you have given yourself options to pick from.

 

Step 4: In conclusion

Now that we have defined our problem, acknowledged the relevant emotions/feelings, and have a list of possible solutions it’s time to go to work.  Look over your list of possible solutions and pick the one that bests suits your vision for an outcome. Be true to yourself and pick the solution that you feel will yield your desired results. Even if it is a problem that is being solved by a group of people it’s always best to stay true to yourself and present the solution you feel is best and by following this chart you can now confidently and knowledgeably present your solution.  It may not be looked at by others as the best, and that’s ok too, but you can feel good about the way you handled it because you assessed the problem itself but the human aspect of the issue as well. As long as you stay open minded to other possible solutions it’s easy to get your educated opinion heard and to maintain a working relationship with all those involved.

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